This book, one of the more "mappy" of the recent flood of Columbus books, is divided into four parts. The first describes the world on the eve of Columbus' first voyage, illustrated by a portolan charts, the Behaim globe, and other maps. The second part considers the immediate aftermath, and is illustrated by the La Cosa map, the Contarini and Ruysch world maps, the Piri Re'is map, and others. The third part describes further exploration with illustrations including the Münster America, the Ortelius 8-sheet world, and a particularly fine reproduction of the Cabot world. The last part covers up to about 1600, and deals with the beginning of colonization. The illustrations for this section include three of the Boazio city maps from the account of Drake's voyage, along with Boazio's general map of the Atlantic, also illustrating Drake's voyage. Whoever designed this book deserves much credit for the beautiful, crisp illustrations. Many illustrations are accompanied by enlarged details of the New World. This is not one of those "Comet Kahoutek" books produced on a few weeks notice to take advantage of the latest fad. A great deal of thought and careful preparation is evident, and the publisher deserves much credit for making the extra effort. For the map aficionado wanting one book on Columbus, this is it.
David C. Jolly, 1992
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